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A Science faculty member asks about preparing students for new approaches [via Tom Carey, Nov 15 2007]

A Science faculty member in one of our Transforming Course Design workshops raised this issue about preparing students for new approaches to teaching and learning (not unique to Transforming Course Design)

Implementation of new teaching methods that require active student participation and learning is quite different from the traditional passive learning that many of our students are used to in lectures. The active learning methods require student participation in the classroom and also preparation outside the classroom. This is something that most students are not familiar with.

Faculty members who implement more active learning approaches have encountered initial rejection / rebellion from students which in addition to being an obstacle to student learning might ultimately affect the instructor’s course evaluation. In order to ensure that faculty members are not discouraged from implementing this new technique, how can we help students develop their understanding? How can we help faculty member to gain understanding and support from their department, especially those that are responsible for reviewing their Retention, Tenure and Promotion file (RTP)?